Friday, May 31, 2024

Free your business from outdated ERP

By James Dantow

One of the common frustrations that we see from businesses that are struggling with aging on-premise ERP solutions is trying to figure out what comes after ERP.

The main problem with ?dated? systems like these is that they are archaic and not architected for the Internet age ? systems that were designed pre-Web when implementation cycles were longer, when businesses were less distributed, when Web access wasn?t considered pervasive.

For most pre-Web ERP products, much of the fundamental underlying architecture can be traced back to roots in the 1990s (or even earlier). It was back in the days when limited browser access was a luxury add-on, smartphones were a vision of the future, and businesses just weren?t as connected with customers, channels and suppliers. Having a large IT department was a badge of honor and deemed a ?must have? to be competitive.

Even if your ERP was brand new and freshly designed when you first installed it, it is still likely to be painfully old and getting older by the minute.

In fact, according to Forrester, ?approximately half of ERP customers are currently on releases that are two versions behind the current release, which may be four years old or more.?

The reason is that most ERP deployments out there are ?version-locked? ? the customizations and pain of upgrading outweigh any incremental benefits an upgrade might bring.

Essentially, business environments have changed, but outdated ERP hasn’t kept pace. A rise in telecommuting and offshoring has made it key to ensure workers can access their applications from anywhere, but it becomes frustrating when the old ERP system forces centralization, or slow VPN or Citrix connections.

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Organizations are becoming increasingly connected ? needing to integrate with suppliers, tie into online channels like Amazon, or provide real-time status to downstream customers.

In the Philippines, for example, the IT industry is expected to grow by approximately 12 percent this year. With the bullish economic outlook of the country ? posting a growth rate of 6.6 percent last year ? more and more organizations will be encouraged to explore new IT products and services like Cloud ERP that could help improve their respective companies.

However, despite these developments, some organizations have remained stuck in the traditional IT environment. These companies? aging on-premise ERP systems still require costly connectors and an integration patchwork to try and achieve it.

Employees are looking to achieve more self-service, yet their ERP still forces them to fill out manual requests and wait weeks for everything from a report to an improvement to a workflow.

This is where cloud ERP systems are different, moving businesses from old version-locked ERP to version-less cloud ERP. Completely web and service based, they?re easier to access and connect with suppliers, partners, customers and channels.

Cloud ERP is also faster to deploy because it does not require expensive infrastructure to buy and install before running. It also frees up IT budgets from maintenance, enabling it to be devoted to innovation and improvement. They’re built for a world of self-service, enabling workers to be more productive themselves and depend on others for less.

Moreover, Cloud ERP and Software-as-a-Service are also known forms of outsourcing, which the Philippines is well aware of being an emerging business process outsourcing market.

Using this model enables various organizations in the country to focus more on their businesses rather than building their IT departments. Innovations like cloud and SaaS-based applications also allow them to access their businesses with real-time data and through their mobile phone.

ABS-CBN Global is a perfect example of a Filipino-owned corporation that successfully upgraded to cloud ERP for its worldwide subsidiaries. The media company, which offers telecommunication, retail, theatricals, money remittance and cargo services, online audio and video streaming, along with philanthropic support for Filipinos, dealt with a patchwork of software applications across multiple operating regions that required constant and costly IT maintenance and hindered efficiency and growth.

It lacked worldwide visibility into sales effectiveness and inventory levels, and needed more structure and order in sales, marketing and fulfillment processes.

Upon deployment of NetSuite to support CRM, sales management, inventory and accounting for subsidiaries worldwide, ABS-CBN Global achieved greater speed and flexibility in rolling out various products, with transparency down to the regional level and a unified customer database.

The new system empowered hundreds of business users with self-service management capabilities, virtually eliminating reliance on IT for everyday tasks.

“Our previous system was simply not fast enough for our people to be as proactive as we needed them to be. NetSuite provides the functionality and flexibility we needed, and a single version of the truth, with a reduced initial cost outlay,” said Gilbert Talavera, project manager for ABS-CBN Global, a subsidiary of ABS-CBN Corporation, the Philippines? largest entertainment and broadcasting company.

Simply, cloud ERP is aligned with how businesses are doing business today, not how they used to do business.

Cloud ERP frees businesses from the brittle, inflexible ERP of the past that resists change. It means that businesses get the latest innovations automatically ? from new features to support for the latest regulations. No more waiting, no more costly upgrades, no more upgrade risk. No more outdated ERP.

Your next competitor is likely someone you have never heard of. They will take advantage of systems designed and built on a modern platform. The reduced operating costs, speed to market and real time visibility will give them a significant competitive edge.

The author is VP for worldwide support and the general manager for the Philippines at NetSuite

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